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What does Vision 2030 mean to Kenyans?

02 April 2012, 14:07 Joe Ndungu

What does Vision 2030 mean to Kenyans?

After the successful completion and implementation of the Economic Recovery Strategy of 2002, the government was upbeat about economic planning and goal setting and decided to go a notch higher by developing a national Vision to run for over 20 years.

It is in the background of that success that the Vision 2030 was developed.

FYI: Kenyan GDP was equivalent to that of Singapore in 1970. It is also whispered that the government of Singapore borrowed from Kenya’s plan to develop theirs. While they implemented their plan, Kenya hid hers at the national archives.

Today, Singapore’s GDP is about four times that of Kenya.

What is Government of Kenya Vision 2030?

The Vision 2030 outlines the vision, strategy and key flagship projects to be carried out by the government to achieve the vision.

It covers economic, political and social plans for the country by the year 2030. Key areas in the economic sector have been identified for life changing projects. Among these sectors include agriculture, tourism manufacturing and retail/wholesale trading.

Like it or not, this is the blue print by which all government projects and programmes are aligned since January 2008.

To a normal Kenyan, this is just another document developed by the government to spend our taxes. To an entrepreneur and an investor however, the opportunities in this document must be identified and gleaned for the benefit of many.

There are a lot of programs in the document that will involve government expenditure. This will in turn mean money going to civilian pockets. 

A smart investor therefore must look out and prepare their purses for the downpour. After all, success only happens when opportunity meets preparedness.

First, the government’s extensive program on infrastructural development is one that presents a lot of opportunities. A good example of businesses taking advantage of government policy is the fibre optic cables being laid out throughout the country by Kenya Data Networks (KDN), Telkom and Kenya Power and Lightening Company (KPLC). These are out to take advantage of the government’s investment in the TEAMS.

Further, suppliers are already considering importation of the Xbox to be used when the country’s TV transmission goes digital on June this year.

To the common construction industry, it is worth noting that the government wants to do business at the constituency level and anyone who can develop a good construction company can get up to three constituencies giving constant business in schools, market centers, ICT centers, youth centers, etc.

Secondly, while I do not recommend investors going into segments they do not have information in; small scale agriculture seems to be very profitable in this country of late. If there can be a partnership between the capital owners in the cities and the skilled farmers in the countryside, the opportunities for returns are vast.

As the government seeks to reduce cost of agriculture, help provide insurance and enhance marketing, investors need to consider this segment as a vehicle of investment.

In addition, funding for agricultural activity will be easier with the World Bank pouring money on one end and the NGOs calling for proposals on the other in the pretext of national food security.  It would be profitable for investment groups going into this sector to invest and carry out business professionally.

Thirdly, the government seeks to develop wholesale hubs and retail markets. 

One of the reasons I watch Business on Citizen TV is because they don’t find it too small to tell the price of one commodity in different towns in Kenya. 

That is information that I can use to make money.

The wholesale hubs will make access to markets and market information easier. This will help synchronise market prices and widen markets for producers. In this regard we are looking at all sorts of products, including carvings, fish, agricultural produce, wood, etc. 

Fourthly, in the manufacturing sector, our civil servants want to develop industrial parks to assist SMEs and upcoming industries. 

One such park has been developed in industrial area along Mombasa Road. In addition they will have economic clusters where businesses in the same industry are clustered in one place (like Hollywood for the film industry).

This will make production cheaper as the businesses will enjoy economies of scale. Industrial area could be an example of such a cluster but possibly needs better facilities and planning to achieve greater results.

IT and finance

The one that will attract small scale investors however is the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). 

An example of a BPO is the Kencall calling centre in industrial area and Horizon contact centre along Mombasa road

The secretariat has so far sought to make this element of the Vision 2030 to be more of an IT focused zone to help develop the IT talent in the country.

As this will be more of skill and labor intensive, start up capital will not be as high as in the other zones of the manufacturing sector. As businesses focuses more on their key areas and cost minimisation, more BPO opportunities present themselves in the country.

Finally, the government wants a robust and stable financial sector to support the economy and the investment therein. 

In this regard, key programmes have been identified to help improve the country’s saving, enhance investments and increase access to credit. Notable among these programs is the one of passing the micro banking act that allows banks to have smaller autonomous brokers or agents working on their behalf.

If you ever wanted to own a bank, this is the opportunity.  Furthermore, it will promote credit rating for individuals and corporate organisations so that access to cheap credit is not on the basis of size but credit rating.

In conclusion, the government drew the vision 2030 as plan of execution. Today, every government department is suing the document as a map and as bible for every operation.

However, the response in the private sector is cold and passive. 

As investor and entrepreneurs we need to identify the opportunities presented by the document and take advantage of them to grow our capital and our country.

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